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CITY OF LINCOLN   •   NEWS RELEASE   •   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Fact Sheet
Fire - Trails - Sidewalks Map (406K)
Date:
August 15, 2002
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Allan Abbott, Public Works and Utilities, 441-7566
Lynn Johnson, Parks and Recreation, 441-8265

Mayor Discusses Bond Issue For Sidewalks And Trails

Mayor Don Wesely today said a proposed $4 million bond issue will allow the City to reduce the backlog of needed improvements on sidewalks and trails. Passage of the bond issue would provide $3 million for sidewalk work and $1 for trail renovation projects throughout the City over a three-year period.

"Since 1992, when voters passed a charter amendment transferring the responsibility for sidewalk repair costs from property owners to the City, we have fallen about 40 years behind," said Mayor Wesely. "This bond issue would allow us to quadruple our sidewalk repairs. In addition, our trail system is recognized as one of the best in the country, but we have been able to allocate only about $10,000 a year for renovation, far less than what is needed. The bond issue would allow us to make a real noticeable difference in sidewalks and trails in older and newer neighborhoods in all parts of the City."

The Mayor is also proposing an $8 million bond issue to help the community maintain and improve fire protection as the City grows. If the City Council approves, the two bond issues would be on the November 5, 2002 general election ballot. The City Council will have a public hearing on placing the bond issues before voters at its regular meeting beginning at 1:30 p.m. Monday, August 19. The Council is scheduled to vote on Monday, August 26 on whether to put the bond issues on the ballot. If both bond issues are approved, the property tax on a home valued at $110,000 would increase about $13 a year.

The City receives about 400 sidewalk complaints a year and has been able to allocate only $250,000 annually for repairs. The current maximum allowable sidewalk elevation differential in the Americans with Disabilities Act is one-fourth inch. The estimated funding needs in Lincoln are $9 million to repair gaps of three-fourths of an inch and $5 to $6 million to repair gaps of two inches.

If the bond issue passes, four sidewalk repair contracts of $150,000 to $200,000 would be awarded each year for three years. Contractors would have from March through November to complete the work, and penalties would be assessed for not completing on time. About $100,000 would be available each year for reimbursing property owners for sidewalk repair. The City Public Works and Utilities Department would allocate $150,000 to $200,000 for repair and curb ramp construction at priority locations each year.

Trail improvements would take place along:

  • the Murdock Trail from 58th to 84th streets;

  • the Superior Street Trail from I-180 to 27th Street;

  • the Highway 2 Trail from 17th to 27th streets; and

  • three sections of the Billy Wolff Trail - the east side of the Capital Parkway underpass, the west side of the 48th Street underpass, and from 56th to 58th streets.

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